Houjun Liu

Task Estimation

Step 0: know what you are building.

breaking tasks

The process of breaking tasks down.

  • We need to research tasks to see how complex they are + how to break them down
  • Research takes time! It should be its own task
  • Over the process of research, the task becomes much simpler

estimating tasks

Requirement: tasks should always be estimated by the person doing the work.

  • Task Estimation should be done each time! tasks shift
  • Estimate only in powers of 2: 30 minutes, 1h, 2h, 4h, 8h, etc.
  • If you never done something before, double the time than you estimate
  • If you are teaching someone to do something, quadruple the time than you estimate
  • Add buffer time (*1.5), especially if you think yourself as a procrastinator
    • Focus is draining! You need breaks. Take breaks.
    • Things will go wrong! Plan for it.

time iterating

  • If anything is longer than 8 hours, that’s a good sign you need to break it down!
  • Likely that you have to break things down


You probably don’t have time to build your feature list

  • MVP: minimum viable product
  • We need the basic set of features; you probably have more features than you have time to build
  • Prioritize what you build based on…
    • Dependencies: is this required for other stuff to work
    • Viability: can the product exist without this?
    • Time: how long does it take?

Be ruthless about what you cut; talk to your user.